D. Thambiratnam, N. Perera, Chanaka M. Abeysinghe
May 1, 2012
Structural Engineering International
Abstract Human activity-induced vibrations in slender structural systems become apparent in many different excitation modes and consequent action effects that cause discomfort to occupants, crowd panic and damage to public infrastructure. Resulting loss of public confidence in safety of structures, economic losses, cost of retrofit and repairs can be significant. Advanced computational and visualisation techniques enable engineers and architects to evolve bold and innovative structural forms, very often without precedence. New composite and hybrid materials that are making their presence in structural systems lack historical evidence of satisfactory performance over anticipated design life. These structural systems are susceptible to multi-modal and coupled excitation that are very complex and have inadequate design guidance in the present codes and good practice guides. Many incidents of amplified resonant response have been reported in buildings, footbridges, stadia and other crowded structures with adverse consequences. As a result, attenuation of human-induced vibration of innovative and slender structural systems very often requires special studies during the design process. Dynamic activities possess variable characteristics and thereby induce complex responses in structures that are sensitive to parametric variations. Rigorous analytical techniques are available for investigation of such complex actions and responses to produce acceptable performance in structural systems. This paper presents an overview and a critique of existing code provisions for human-induced vibration followed by studies on the performance of three contrasting structural systems that exhibit complex vibration. The dynamic responses of these systems under human-induced vibrations have been carried out using experimentally validated computer simulation techniques. The outcomes of these studies will have engineering applications for safe and sustainable structures and a basis for developing design guidance.